What more can you say about Live that hasn’t been said before? The reckoning force of the band was felt throughout the late 90’s and early 2000’s worldwide. Tonight will go down as one of the greatest reunion shows this year has seen and possibly the best that Riverstage has ever hosted.
Giving us the warm up tonight are two more bands that held their own when Live was at its peak. The Calling give it their all to a packed out Riverstage audience, showing they still have what it takes to capture the audience in the palm of their hands.
Lifehouse have not deteriorated over the years, sounding like they’ve just stepped out of a hefty practice session and more than ready to transport us back to when they were at the height of their career. Finishing out their set with fan favourite ‘Hanging by a Moment’, the four piece drum up a fantastic sing along, getting the crowd completely immersed for the upcoming onslaught from the boys of Live.
Bursting full blast into ‘All Over You’, it’s easy to see why Live has managed to keep a hold of its loyal fanbase. Kowalczyk’s voice is like it’s been frozen in time by some sort of cryostasis; it’s absolutely flawless. Giving the fans all they want, they launch into favourites ‘Dolphins Cry’ & ‘Selling the Drama’ with as much ferocity as many bands on the circuit aspire to achieve.
A fantastic rendition of Johnny Cash’s ‘Walk the Line’ shows that Live can make any song their own. Giving it a rocking deep bass line and distorted guitars, you’ve never seen a crowd get so energised by what should be a slow grooving country song.
Reaching a fever pitch when they start ‘I Alone’, the crowd sings back to Kowalczyk, mirroring his high, passion driven tones and feeding him back the lines as he prompts for them. Singing the crescendo of the song from the barrier to a sea of adoring fans, he has the Riverstage crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.
The hits just keep on coming as Live transports you to the turn of the century, busting out all their chart topping compositions, from ‘Lakini’s Juice’ right through to ‘I Alone’, flashbacks to 20 years ago are plentiful within the Live setlist. Delivering blow after blow, this is a show like no other. The band sounds better than they ever did and with two drummers (“two for the price of one” as Kowalczyk jokes) the sound that they put out is monstrous.
Returning for an utterly annihilating encore, Kowalczyk and Co. lead off with an acoustic rendition of ‘Turn My Head’ and the crowd is a sea of mobile phone lights (the cigarette lighter equivalent of the new generation so it seems). It makes for an eerie feeling as there is little to no stage lighting, but it also gives a feeling of intimacy from the band.
Following on with a beautifully moving rendition of Audioslaves ‘I Am The Highway’, Kowalczyk pays tribute to the late Chris Cornell, giving the song every bit of passion from within his soul, as a solitary portrait of Cornell sits upon the screen behind him. Rounding out tonights show with the colossal hit ‘Lightning Crashes’, the band delivers their biggest hit with every bit of energy that launched them into the spotlight many years ago. From the opening chord, the crowd erupts and we all know that this is the going to be the best sing along we have had all year.
Departing the venue, we’re left with a satisfied feeling within. If this was your last gig for the year, you made the right choice. It’s fair to say that Live is back and ready to take the world by storm once more.
IMAGES (c) Dan Maynard